The situation: a patrol section (+) manning an unfinished checkpoint is caught by surprise by insurgent forces.
The topic: in open terrain the .50 cal is king. Hone your HMG techniques of fire, lads!
The engineers came, built a half-assed checkpoint and left with the promise of finishing it up the following day. Checkpoint North was born out of wire, earthen parapets, small sandbagged bunkers and the willingness of the British soldier to do whatever it takes to accomplish a mission. Our command post/living quarters was a nice change, though. We have been sleeping near our Jackals for quite a while and having a roof over our heads was a welcomed change in the routine.
|The entrance to checkpoint North.|
|Rush hour at checkpoint North. The line is a whooping 10 cars long.|
|The search area of checkpoint North. We didn't even have the proper search tools.|
|On the right side of the road, we placed a Jackal in a firing position overlooking the main approach to the checkpoint. The command post/living quarters can be seen on the left.|
|Same thing on the left side of the road.|
It was while following a HUMINT tip at a village south of the checkpoint when the distant sound of an IED and the ensuing frantic radio calls reached my 5 men team. We jumped in our Jackal and rushed towards the checkpoint trying to sort out what was going on.
|The smoke and fire in the distant checkpoint ... Nothing good is coming out of this thing.|
|Hull down, but with an exposed gunner. Such is the life of the lightly armored vehicle crews.|
|The view from our vehicle. In the distance, insurgents pour out of an assortment of vehicles.|
|The AI does a moderately good job shooting the L111A1, but I eventually I had to man the thing. Note the sandbags of the roof of the command post.|
|We eventually abandoned the relative safety of the checkpoint and moved up the road to clear it. In this image, the Jackal covers us with the .50 cal.|
|Never underestimate the power of the .50 cal.|